tv C-SPAN Weekend CSPAN February 7, 2010 10:30am-1:00pm EST
reform in the history ft country, i believe. the obviously health insurance reform was part of that. trying to create this clean energy economy is part of that. he's trying to solve problems. and all we've really heard from the other side by and large was, let's just go back to doing what we were doing before. let's go back to letting lobbyists and special interests dominate the agenda in washington. let's stick with the status quo. the stat cuss quo has been tested and it's been proven faulty and we can't do back to that. >> we have time for a quick followup. >> you're a practical practitioner of campaign science. you've run campaigns. this is going to be the first campaign run in the wake of a supreme court decision that said essentially corporations can advertise directly in favor of or against candidates. what do you think is going to be the practical impact of that this year and this mid-term election?
>> the implication for governing and also for the election. what my concern is now that any lobbyist for any industry can go into any member of congress and say if you don't vote our way, we're going to run a million dollars of ads in your district. this is disputed but i don't think it's really -- disputeable. foreign owned entities through their american affiliates can participate in our elections in that way. it is an unbelievably unwholesome thing. but it can be meaningful. if you have big entities running multi-million dollar campaigns to try to influence who goes to congress, that's a big concern. that's going to increase the tower of interest. that's why congress ought to step in and do something about it. >> question about the mood inside the white house. for some of you this is going on year for. when do you think we're going to start seeing some turnover at the white house? this year? next year? >> i don't know. everybody is committed to this country and comblitted to this president. so no one is eager to go.
and i'm sure there will be some turnover. there always is some turnover. but we all have the same sense, which is this is is a very critical time for our country. we're challenged in so many different ways and we have to overcome the politics of this town and help this president solve some problems and move this country forward. we all want to be a part of that. so no one is clamoring to get out. it's been a long, hard road. but a very very rewarding one, fulfilling one. >> we should not let you escape without noting that the president stuck hisneck out saying that he kind of liked the saints in the super bowl. what about you? >> my sentimental choice would be the saints. i think it would be great for new orleans. but i admire the precision with which the colts excute. so my heart says saints and my head says colts. >> well spun. >> what's been the biggest challenge that you have faced and maybe something surprised
you serving the senior adviser as the last 14 months? >> the greatest challenge personally has been being separated from my family. that's been very difficult. my wife and my children remain in chicago. i don't see them as much as i would like. but professionally, and in terms of this pursuit, i think the greatest challenge is this very tough kind of tension between having to get things done within the system as it exists, and also trying to change the system as it exists. and that is a very hard problem to solve. and in terms of what surprised me, i guess john f. kennedy once said, i paraphrase what surprised him the most was that things were worse than he actually said when he was campaigning. i gess what i would say is that what surprises me is that enching i've said about
washington for 30 years turns out to be true. but i still remain confident that we can improve that and we can change that. i know the president is committed to that. and that we can really pull together here and solve some problems. >> we thank you for joining us. we invite you back any time here. >> thank you. >> thank you.
i believe that ending the policy would improve our military's capability and reflect our commitment to equal opportunity. i do not find the arguments that were used to justify don't ask, don't tell convincing when it took effect in 1993, and there are less so now. i agree with what president obama said in his state of the union address, that we should repeal this discriminatory policy. in the latest gallup poll, the american public overwhelmingly supports allowing gays and lesbians to support serve in the military. as former chairman of the joint chiefs, general john cash villi said he supports ending the policy. a majority of troops already believe that they serve alongside gay or less ban colleagues. one recent study estimated that 66 thousands are serving today.
a constant risk of losing their chance to serve. other nations have allowed gay and less ban service members to serve without discrimination and without impact on unit cohesion and moral. a comprehensive stoitted on this was conducted by rand in 1993. rand researchers reported on the positive experiences of canada, france, germany, israel and the netherlands and norway, all of which known homosexuals to serve in their armed forces. senator mccain and i have asked the department of defense to update the 1993 report. ending this discriminatory policy will contribute to our military's effectiveness to take just one example dozens of arabic and farsi linguists have been forced out of the military under don't ask, don't tell. at a time when our need to understand those languages has never been greater. thousands of troops, 13,000 by
one estimate, have been forced to leave the military under the current policy. that number includes many who could help the military complete some particularly difficult and dangerous missions. i have long admired the merit-based system of advancement employed by the u.s. military. that allows service men and women of varied backgrounds to advance to positions of high leadership. an army is not a democracy. it is a merit oksy where success depends not on who you are but on how well you do your job. despite its necessarily undemocratic nature, our military has helped lead the way in areas of fairness and anti-discrimination. it has served as a flag ship for american values and aspirations. but with inside the united
states, -- both inside the united states and around the world. we will hold additional hearings to hear different points of view. this committee will hold a hearing on february 11 when we will hear from an independent panel, the service secretaries and service chiefs will all be testifying before this committee during the month of february on their various budgets and they of course will be open to questions on this subject as well during their testimony. my goal will be to move quickly but deliberatively to maximize the opportunity for all americans to serve their country. while addressing any concerns that may be raised. we should end don't ask, don't tell. and we can and should do it in a way that honors our nation's values, while making us more secure. my entire statement will be made part of the record. a statement of senator jill brand will also be inserted in the record following the statement of senator mccain. senator mccain. >> thank you very much, mr.
chairman. and i want to thank secretary gates and admiral mullance for what is turning into a long morning for them. we appreciate your patience and input on this very, very important issue. we meet to consider the don't ask, don't tell policy. a policy that the president has made clear most recently last week in his state of the union address, that he wants congress to repeal. this would be a substantial and controversial change to a policy that has been successful for two decades. it would also present yet another challenge to our military at a time of already tremendous strens and strain. our men and women in uniform are fighting two wars, guarding the front lines against a global terrorist enemy, serving and sacrificing obbattlefields far from home. and working to rebuild and reform the force after more than eight years of conflict. at this moment, immense hardship for our armed services, we should not be
seeking to overturn the don't ask, don't tell policy. i want to make one thing perfectly clear up front. i'm enormously proud of and thankful for every american who chooses to put on the uniform of our nation and serve at this time of war. i want to encourage more of our fellow citizens to serve and to open up opportunities to do so. many gay and less ban americans are soifering admirably in our armed forces, even giving our lives so that we and other ks know the blessings of peace. i honor their sacrifice and i honor them. our challenge is how to continue welcoming this service amids the vast complexities of the largest, most expensive, most well regard and most critical institution in our nation. our armed forces. this is an extremely difficult issue. and the senate vigorously debated it in 1993. we heard from the senior uniformed and civilian leaders of our military on eight
occasions before this committee alone. when congress ultimately wrote the law, we included important findings that did justice to the seriousness of the subject. i would ask without objection, mr. chairman, that a copy of the statute including those findings be included in the record. >> it will be. >> i won't quote all those findings. but three points must be made. first, congress found in the law that the military's mission to pre pair for and conduct combat operations requires service men and women to accept living and working conditions that are often sparten and characterized by forced intimacy with little or no privacy. second, the law finds that civilian life is fundamentally different from military life, which is characterized by its own laws, rules, custmings, and traditions. including many restrictions on personal conduct that would not be tolerated in civil society.
finally, the law finds that the essence of military capability is good order and unit cohesion and that any practice which puts those goals at unacceptable risk can be restricted. these findings were the foundation of don't ask, don't tell. and i'm eager to hear from our distinguished witnesses what has changed since these findings were written. such that the law they supported can now be repealed. has this policy been ideal? no, it has not. but it has been effective. it has helped to balance a potentially disruptive tension between the desires of a minority and the broader interests of our all-volunteer force. it is well understood and predominantly supported by our fighting men and women. it reflects, as i understand them, the preferences of our uniformed services. it has sustained unit cohesion and unit more ral while still
allowing gay and less ban americans to serve their country in ube form. and it has dobe all of this for nearly two decades. mr. chairman, this is a letter signed by over 1,000 former general and flag officers who have weighed in on this issue. i think that we all in congress should pay attention and benefit from the experience and knowledge of over 1,000 former general officers and flag officers, and where they say we firmly believe that this law which congress passed to protect good order, discipline and morale in the unique environment desives continued support. and so i think we should also pay attention to those who have served who can speak more frankly on many occasions than those who are presently serving. i know that any decision congress mabes about the future
of this law will inevitably leave a lot of people angry and unfulfilled. there are patriotic and well meaning americans on each side of this debate and i have heard their many passionate concerns. ultimately, though, new mexico russ military leaders tell -- numerous leaders tell me that don't ask, don't tell is working and that we should not change it now. i agree. i would welcome a report done by the joint chiefs of staff based solely on military readiness, effectiveness, and needs, and not on politics. that would study the don't ask, don't tell policy that would consider the impact of its repeal on our armed services, and that would offer their best military advice on the right course of action. we have an all-volunteer force. it is better trained, more effective, and more professional than any military in our history. and today, that force is shouldering a greater global
burden than at any time in decades. we owe our lives to our fighting men and women, and we should be exceedingly cautious, humble, and sympathetic when attempting to regulate their affairs. don't ask, don't tell has been an imper 23ec9 but effective policy, and at this moment, when we're asking more of our military than at any time in recent memory, we should not repeal this law. thank you, mr. chairman. >> thank you, senator mccain. secretary gates. >> mr. chairman, last week during the state of the union address the president announced he will work with congress this year to repeal the law known as don't ask, don't tell. he subsequently direct it had department of defense to begin the preparations necessary for a repeal of the current law and policy. i fully support the president's decision. the question before us is not whether the military prepares to make this change burks how we must, how we best prepare
for it. we received our orders from the commander in chief, and we are moving out accordingly. however, we can also take this process only so far as the ultimate decision rests with you, the congress. i am mindful of the fact, as are you, that unlike the last time this issue was considered by the congress, more than 15 years ago, our military is engaged in two wars that have put troops and their families under considerable stress and strain. i am mindful as well that attitudes toward homosexuality may have changed considerably, both in society generally and in the military over the intervening years. to ensure that the department is prepared, should the law be changed, and working in close consultation with admiral mullen, i have appointed a high-level working group within the department that will immediately begin a review of the issues associated with properly implementing a review of the don't ask, don't tell
policy. the mandate of this working group is to thoroughly, objectively, and methodically examine all aspects of this question and produce its findings and recommendations in the form of an implementation plan by the end of this calendar year. a guiding principle of our efforts will be to minimize disruption and polarization within the ranks, with special attention paid to those serving on the front lines. i am confident this can be achieved. the working group will examine a number of lines of study, all of which will proceed simultaneously. first, the working group will reach out to the force, to authority tatively understand their views and attitudes about the impact of repeal. i expect that the same sharp divisions that characterized the debate over these issues outside of the military will quickly seek to find their way into this process, particularly as it per tains to what are the true views and attutes of our
troops and their families. i am determined to carry out this process in a way that establishes objective and reliable information on this question with minimal influence by the policy or political debate. it is essential that we accomplish this in order to have the best possible analysis and information to guide the policy choices before the department and the congress. second, the working group will undertake a thorough examination of all the changes to the department's regulations and policies that may have to be made. these include potential revisions to policies on benefits, base housing, frat rnization and misconduct, separations and discharges, and many others. we will enter this examination with no preconceived views but a recognition that this will represent a fundamental change in personnel policy. one that will require that we provide our commanders with the guidance and tools necessary to
accomplish this transition successfully and with minimum disruption to the department's critical missions. third, the working group will examine the potential impacts in the change of the law on military effectiveness, including how a change might affect unit cohesion, recruiting and retension, and other issues crucial to the performance of the force. the working group will develop ways to mitigate and manage any negative impacts. these are generally speaking the broad areas we have identified for study under this review. we will, of course, continue to refine and expand these as we get into this process or engage in discussion with the congress and other sources. in this regard, we expect that the working group will reach out to outside experts with a wide variety of perspectives and experience. to that end, the department will, as requested by this committee, ask the rand corporation to update their study from 1993 on the impact
of allowing homosexuals to serve openly in the military. we also have received some helpful suggestions on how this outside review might be expanded to cover a wide swath of issues. this will be a process that will be open to views and recommendations from a wide variety of sources including, of course, members of congress. mr. chairman, i expect that our approach may cause some to wonder why it will take the better part of a year to accomplish the task. we have looked at a variety of options. but when you take into account the overriding imperative to get this right, and minimize disruption to a force that is actively fighting two wars and working through the stress of almost a decade of combat, then it is clear to us we must proceed in a manner that allows for the thorough examination of all issues. an important part of this process is to engage our men and women in uniform and their families over this period.
since, after all, they will ultimately determine whether or not we make this transition successfully. to ensure that this process is able to accomplish its important mission, chairman mullen and i have determined that we need to appoint the highest level officials to carry it out. accordingly, i am naming the department of defense general counsel jay johnson and general carter hamm, commander of u.s. army europe to serve as the co-chairs of this effort. simultaneous with launching this process, i was also directed the department to quickly review the regulations used to implement the current don't ask, don't tell law. and within 45 days, present to me recommended changes to those regulations that within existing law will enforce this policy in a fairer manner. you may recall that i asked the department's general counsel to conduct a preliminary review of this matter last year. based on that preliminary review, we believe that we have a degree of latitude within the existing law to change our
internal procedures in a manner that is more appropriate and fair to our men and women in uniform. we will now conduct a final detailed assessment of this proposal before proceeding. mr. chairman, senator mccain, members of the committee, the department of defense understands that this is a very difficult and in the minds of some controversial policy question. i am determined that we, in the department, carry out this process professionally, thoroughly, dispassionately, and in a manner that is responsive to the direction of the president and to the needs of the congress, as you debate and consider this matter. however, on behalf of the men and women in uniform and their families, i also ask you to work with us to insofar as possible, keep them out of the political dimension of this issue. i am not asking for you not to do your jobs fully and with vigor. but rather, that as this debate
unfolds, you keep the impact it will have on our forces firmly in mind. thank you for this opportunity to lay out our thinking on this important policy question. we look forward to working with the congress and hearing your ideas on the best way ahead. >> thank you. admiral mullen. >> thank you, pluff, senator mccain. and thank you for giving me the opportunity to discuss with you this very important matter. the chiefs andry in complete support of the approach that secretary gates has outlined. we believe that any implementation planned for a policy permitting gays and less agains to serve openly in the armed forces must be carefully derived, sufficiently through thorough and thoughtfully excuted. over these last two months we have reviewed the fundamental premiseles behind don't ask, don't tell as well as its application in practice over the last 16 years. we understand perfectly the president's desire to see the law repealed.
and we owe him our best military advice about the impact of such a repeal and the manner in which we would implement a change in policy. the chiefs and i have not yet developed that advise and would like to have the time to do so in the same thoughtful deliberate fashion with which the president has made it clear he wants to proceed. the review groups secretary gates has ordered will no doubt give us that time and an even deeper level of understanding. we look forward to cooperating with and participating in this re view to the maximum extent possible and we applaud the selection of mr. johnson and general hamm to lead it. both are men of great integrity, great experience, and have our complete trust and confidence. mr. chairman, speaking for myself, and myself only, it is my personal belief that allowing gays and lesbians to
serve openly would be the right thing to do. no matter how i look atthis issue, i cannot escape by being troubled by the fact that we have in place a policy which forces young men and women to lie about who they are in order to defend their fellow citizens. for me, personally, it comes down to integrity. theirs as individuals and ours as an institution. i also believe that the great young men and women of our military can and would accommodate such a change. i never underestimate their ability to adapt. but i do not know this for a fact. nor do i know for a fact how we would best make such a major policy change in a time of two wars. there will be some disruption in the force, i cannot deny. that there will be legal, social, and perhaps even infrastructure changes to be made certainly seems
applausible. we would all like to have a better handle on these types of concerns. and this is what our review will offer. we would also do well to remember that this is not an issue for the military leadership to decide. the american people have spoken on this subject through you, their elected officials, and the result is the law and the policy that we currently have. we will continue to obey that law and we will obey whatever legislative and executive decisions come out of this debate. the american people may yet have a different view. you may have a different view. i think that's important and it's important to have that discussion. frankly, there are those on both sides of this debate who speak as if there is no debate, as if there is nothing to be learned or reflected upon. i hope we can be more thoughtful than that.
i expect that we will be more thoughtful than that. the chiefs and i also recognize the stress our troops and families are under, and i have said many timets before should the law change we need to move forward in a manner that does not add to that stress. we've got two wars going on, a new strategy in afghanistan, and remaining security challenges in iraq. we're about to move forward under a new quad renyl defense review. we still have budget concerns and a struggling economy. and we have a host of other significant security commitments around the globe. our plate is very full. while i believe this is an important issue, i also believe we need to be mindful as we move forward of other pressing needs in our military. what our young men and women and their families want, what they deserve, is that we listen to them and act in their best
interests. what the citizens we defend want to know, what they deserve to know, is that their uniformed leadership will act in a way that absolutely does not place in peril the readieness and effectiveness of their military. i can tell you that i am 1003r9s committed to that. -- 100% committed to that. balance and thoughtfulness is what we need most right now. it's what the president has promised us, and it's what we ask of you and this body. thank you. . .
now and so -- >> not with me. >> it was indeed shared. >> you're the chairman. >> you're the chairman. >> mr. "the washington post, i think this morning reported that the military services will not pursue any longer disciplinary action against gays and lesbian service members whose orientation is revealed by third parties. is that one of the -- is that one of the degrees of latitude within existing law that you're looking at? >> mr. chairman, a preliminary assessment is that -- and this fits within this 45-day review that i mentioned in my prepared
statement -- the preliminary assessment is that we can do the following within the confines of the existing law. we can raise the level of the officer who is authorized to initiate an inquiry. we can raise the level of the officer who conducts the inquiry. he can with raise the bar on what constitutes credible information to initiate an inquiry. we can raise the bar on what constitutes a reliable person on whose word an inquiry can be initiated. overall we can reduce the instances in which a service member who is trying to serve the country honorably is outed by a third person with a motive to harm a service member. and we also have to devise new rules and procedures in light of the appeals court decision in witt versus the department of the air force for the areas of the country covered by the appellate court. so i would say all of these matters are those that will be
reviewed within this 45-day period, so it is a little more complicated than "the washington post" conveyed. >> but all of those are possibilities? >> yes, sir. >> would you, assuming even if it requires a legislation, would you support a moratorium on discharges under "don't ask, don't tell" during the course of this up to year long assessment that the department is going to be making? >> i would have to look into that because the problem -- the problem that we have is that all of the issues that both admiral mullen and i described in terms of what we have to look into, in terms of the effect on the force, in terms of everything else is what we need to examine before i could answer that question. >> all right. well, you're going to be examining the other points that you're looking at, the other flexibilities. would you add this to the questions you're going to look at and let us know promptly --
>> sure. >> -- as to whether you would support a moratorium pending this period on discharges. that doesn't mean you couldn't discharge at the end of the period, but there would be a moratorium. >> we will look at it and, mr. chairman, i would tell you that the advice that i have been given is that the current law would not permit that, but -- >> i'm saying would you support a change in the current law if necessary in order to permit that? that's what we need to hear from you on. senator mccain. >> i'm deeply disappointed in your statement, secretary gates. i was around here in 1993 and was engaged in the debates. and what we did in 1993 is we looked at the issue and we looked at the effect on the military and then we reached a conclusion and then we enacted into law. your statement is, question before us is not whether the military prepares to make this change, but how we best prepare for it. it would be far more appropriate, i say with great
respect, to determine whether repeal of this law is appropriate and what effects it would have on the readiness and the effectiveness of the military before deciding on whether we should repeal the law or not. and fortunately it is an act of congress. and it requires the agreement of congress in order to repeal it. and so your statement, obviously is one which is clearly biased, without the view of congress being taken into consideration. admiral mullen, you're the principle military adviser to the president, you have to consult with and seek the advice the other members of the joint chiefs of staff and the combatant commanders what are your views and opinions of the other members of the joint chief and combatant commanders about changing this policy? >> senator mccain, as the chairman indicated earlier, they would be out in their posture hearings in the near future and i would certainly defer to them
in terms of exactly -- >> the near future -- in the near future i would like you to ask them and we can have it on the record what their position is, in the near future. >> yes, sir. >> i would like it as soon as possible. >> actually, i've worked very closely with them over the last months, in terms of understanding what their -- what their concerns are, what our overall concerns are, and i would summarize them by saying it is really important for us to -- to us -- for us to understand that if this policy changes, if the law changes, what is the impact and how we would implement it. and to secretary gates' point about the study is to really understand objectively the impact on our troops and on their forces and that is their biggest concern. >> and i would say, senator mccain, i absolutely agree that the -- how the congress acts on this is dispositive. >> well, i hope you'll pay
attention to the views of over a thousand retired and flag general officers. mr. secretary, what kinds of partnerships or unions would the military be prepared to recognize by law in the event that this "don't ask, don't tell" is repealed? >> that's one of the many issues that i think we have to look at, senator. >> so, again, you are embarking on saying it is not whether the military prepares to make the change, but how we best prepare for it, without ever hearing from members of congress, without hearing from the members of the joint chiefs, and, of course, without taking into considerations all the ramifications of this law. well, i'm happy to say that we still have a congress of the united states that would have to -- would have to pass a law to repeal "don't ask, don't tell," despite your efforts to repeal it in many respects by
pheaa. thank you. >> thank you, senator mccain. senator udall. >> thank you for holding this very important hearing. i want to acknowledge secretary gates, the work you've done to put a plan in place and admiral mullen, i think the centerpiece of your statement will be long remembered for the courage and the integrity and with which you outlined your own personal beliefs and how we can proceed. i'm proud to hail from the region of the country, the rocky mountain west, where we have a live and let live attitude. some people would call it small l libertarianism. the choices people make are not the government's business. and i can't help but think about the great arizona, i grew up in arizona, my father was an arizonan, my mother was a coloradan, i had a great honor to represent colorado now, but barry goldwater once said you don't have to be straight to shoot straight.
and that's the opportunity that we have here today as the congress and the pentagon moves forward. i have a few concerns i would like to share in the couple minutes that i have. and i'll pepper my comments with questions and hopefully there will be time for you all to respond there have been a lot of studies done, mr. secretary, rand, and the study in the joint force quarterly. it is not clear to me that the study groups needs a full year to study implementation and transition, i just want to put that out there. i want to make sure the focus of the group is on how to implement repeal of the policy, not whether, and i want to ask you to assure me that the importance of the study would be a road map to implementing repeal and the congress would be in a position to take legislative action that the pentagon as a whole could support. and before you answer, i'd like your reaction to a legislative proposal that you may have seen, it would be to write into repeal
legislation the period of time you suggest you need, say one year, while legislating that at the end of that time we would have finality, a complete end to "don't ask, don't tell." during the year long transition, the dod would have full authority and discretion with respect to "don't ask, don't tell" investigations and discharges. language like this would certainly make me much more comfortable since i want and so many others a clear path to full repeal. and i'm not sure i see finality in the study. again, thank you, gentlemen, and hopefully there is a little bit of time left for you to answer. >> well, i think the purpose of the examination that we're undertaking frankly is to inform the decision-making of the congress and the nature of whatever legislation takes place. it is also, frankly, to be prepared to begin to implement any change in the law. we obviously recognize that this is up to congress, and my view is frankly that it is critical
that this matter be settled by a vote of the congress. the -- the study is intended to prepare us along those lines so that we understand all of implications involved. frankly there have been a lot of studies done, but there has not been a study done by the military of this. and this is the kind of thing that admiral mullen was talking about. and i would just say with respect to your -- to your second point that i think we would regard, if legislation is passed, repealing "don't ask, don't tell," we would feel it very important that we be given some period of time for that implementation, at least a year. >> senator, if i may, just the only thing i would comment about, all the study and all the polls, he would just urge that everybody that is going to be involved in this look at those studies and polls deliberately
and what they actually looked at specifically. and to just re-emphasize what the secretary said there really hasn't been any significance objective survey of our people and the families. that gets to the chief concern and mine as well, which is engaging them in a way that we really understand their views on this, and that just hasn't been done and as urgently as some would like this to happen, it is just going to take some time to do that. >> thank you, senator. senator sessions? >> thank you, mr. chairman. and i know this is an important iss issue. we need to think it through. every american is entitled to fairness and justice as we deliberate these issues. and i do think we should do it at a high level. i would note on, however, a bit of a concern that arises from something senator mccain suggested, and that is that the
president, as the commander in chief, has announced a decision. and the secretary of defense apparently supports that decision. admiral mullen now declared he personally believes in this decision. and so then presumably someone below you will do some work on the policy whether this is a good policy or not. so i guess if there is a trial, we would perhaps raise the undue command influence defense. and i think we need an open and objective and a fair evaluation of this. a lot of things that have been said i would note that are not accurate, at least in my view at least, or misrepresent certain things, one of them is 10,000 people have been dismissed from the military, or voluntarily left for the military under these -- under this provision.
but that's over ten years. it would be 1%, maybe if it was one year, less than that maybe, .75%. and -- but over a decade, it would be .1% or less. also, there will be cost. i noticed -- and i give the military credit, a lost peopt oe don't know this, admiral mullen, how open to debate and discussion you are. there is an article in the joint forces quarterly that basically supports this change. it was an award-winning article, and they raised a lot of different issues, both for and against. and the military welcomed that. and i salute that. i think that's healthy. but one of the points it made is that charles mosco, one of the authors of the "don't ask, don't
tell" policy, points out that the number of discharges for voluntary statements by service members, presumably they come forward and say that they are homosexual, accounts for 80% of the total. and the number of quacks i think in this approximately correct, but it does go to a fundamental principle of may, which is everybody counts. back to the institutional integrity act
a number of things, which came into loaf may -- which cumulative bleak get me to this position. i also am not all knowing in terms of the impact in terms of what the change would have and that is what i want to understand. if any impact in understanding readiness and effectiveness is absolutely critical. >> it is pretty clear what your view this. that will be clear on all your support events, every single service member in uniform would be qualified for that. i do not think they are required to lie about who they are, i think that's an overstatement. i think the rule of don't ask, don't tell seems to have worked pretty well.
pretty well. i would note from the "christian science monitor" here that the chiefs of the services met with the chairman mike mullen -- i'm quoting from the article -- and the consensus seemed that the military fighting two wars and now responding to a new mission in haiti now, is not the time to make such a big change in the military policy. that is my understanding of the status of things. i just hope that, as we discuss it, you will recognize first that congress has made the decision. it is not yours to make. and we will have to change it, if we do change it, and second, you shouldn't use your power to in any way influence a discussion or evaluation of the situation. >> senator, i would say that we can't possibly evaluate the impact on unit cohesion, moral,
retention and so on unless we encourage people to tell us exactly what they think, and exactly what their views are honestly and as forthrightly as possible. otherwise, there is no use in doing this at all, and again, i can't emphasize enough, we understand from the beginning of this that this must be an act of congress. >> thank you. >> senator sessions, for me, this not about command influence, but about leadership. i take that very seriously. >> thank you. >> senator hagan. >> thank you, mr. chairman. secretary gates i want to say that i applaud your efforts in commissioning a thorough investigation of the "don't ask, don't tell" policy and how to implement a repeal of the policy in order to minimize disruption in military readiness, and i am wondering within the study, how
will you study, how will the study take into account the views of the combatant commanders in theatre in order to minimize any disruption in the military readiness. >> the combatant commanders and the service chiefs will all have a part in this. the one thing i have asked is that as we go through this process, we try not to disrupt or impact the deployed forces, and particularly those in aft afghanistan and iraq, and they have enough on their minds, and it seems to me that we can get the answers that we need to questions that need to be asked by not adding to their burden, so the one limitation i have put on this, which obviously does not apply to the combatant of commanders is that we try and have as little impact on the deployed forces as possible.
>> and mr. secretary and admiral mullen, as we move to end discriminatory practices within the armed forces, is there any reason to believe that the dedication and professionalism of the leaders in uniform is based in any way upon their sexual orientation? and that the moral fitness of the men and women in uniform should be based upon their sexual orientation? and if not then, then on what grounds do you believe that there remains a need to discriminate based on a service members' sexual organization? >> well, senator hagan, i personally don't believe that sexual orientation has a place for these kinds of decisions. i personally believe there is a gap between what we value as a military specifically, the value of integrity and what our policy is, but again, it is personally. i think that it is really in the review that would take place
over the course of the next, by the end of this year, that i would look to certainly understand it much more fully and understand the impact, and if and when the policy changes the act on our people, and that is really rather than at the end of this, we are to some degree at fwe gining really trying to understand that. that's in light of many other opinions on this, including the opinions of those who have retired, all of those things, but it is real will what i need to understand is to get it from our people and their families. and in incorporating that in addition to all of the other requirements here are going to be the goal of the review over the next better. >> bert: of this year. >> thank you, mr. chairman. >> thank you, senator hagan. senator wick? >> well, i am, too, disappointed with the decision of the administration. but i will say this for our two
witnesses, they understand the chain of command. i think that we understand that elections have consequences, and these two gentlemen see their charge as moving forward with the directives of their commander, and i think that secretary gates said it explicitly in the statement, quote, we have receivedord ers from the commander in chief, and we are moving out accordingly, so we will have debate about this and we will appreciate the information that the department gathers for us. senator mccain referenced in his statement, more than $1,000 retired flag and general officers and actually, it is upwards of 1,160 retired flag and general officers from all of the armed services.
who have come out against a change in this policy. for my colleagues, their statement urging continued support for the 1993 law is contained at www.flagandgeneral officers for the military.com. i would contend to the members of this committee an op-ed written by carl e. mundy, jr., retired four-star general and former commandant of the u.s. marine corps who points out, who mentions the strong support for the current policy by this overwhelming number of retired flag and general officers, and points out that certain findings were made by congress in support of the 1993 law to ensure
clarity concerning rationale behind the current statute. key findings was that the primary purpose of the armed services is to prevail in combat and notpromote civil rights and promote compassion and civil rights, be to but to prepare fo combat. and military units who are characterized by high moral and order and discipline and unit cohesion, and further that one of the most critical elements in combat capability is unit cohesion, and that is the bonds of trust among individual service members. i would ask, mr. chairman, that this op-ed dated january 12, 2010, by general mundy be put into the record. >> it will be part of the record. >> i appreciate the situation
that our two witnesses find themselves in, and i look forward to the debate and hope that the policy remains. thank you. >> thank you, senator wicker. senator webb. >> thank you, mr. chairman. gentlemen, let me just see if we can review the facts here. this is obviously quite an emotional issue, but it is also a legislative issue. it is my understanding from hearing both of your statements is that this year period which you are going to take in order to examine the issues will be followed then by clearer observations about the implications of changing a law, would that be a correct way to state it? so, you are not coming in here today saying we are going to change the law, and this is the year we will put into figuring in how to implement the change? >> our hope would be that the information we would develop during the course of this review would help to inform the
legislative process. >> right. and i salute both of you for very careful statements and admiral mullen, i salute you for the courage of what you said, but i also want to emphasize that you balance that in the statement saying you don't know what will come out of this -- we don't know. so what we are looking for here is an examination of the present law. what is the most damaging aspect of present policy and i think that admiral mullen, you made a powerful statement in terms of the integrity of the individual in terms of the deciding factor of the personal view, and what is on the other hand, the great value of this law if we were to do away with it and move into something else, and again, what are the perils of the doing of the law, and where are we going? are we going in the proper direction? we don't know. we can't really say that today. i think that when you say that this is something that will
ultimately be decided by the congress, i want to em phaphasiy own agreement of how important it is to hear from the people who are serving, because while the ultimate decision is here with the congress, that decision can't be made in ap pr proper w without a full input of those who are serving and not just combatant members, but family members and those in the operating units. the way that i am hearing this, which i would agree with, is that we have a duty mhere and a very proper way to understand the impact of this on operating units to raise the level of understanding of the complexity of this issue among the american people, and up here as well as attempting to do fairly with the issue.
so, again, i salute you both for a very responsible and careful approach to how we examine this. thank you, mr. chairman. >> thank you, mr. webb. senator chambliss. >> thank you, mr. chairman, and just as was stated by my friend senator udall, i think that the live and let live policy is not a bad policy to adhere to and that is what we have in place in the military with don't "don't don't tell" right now. and for you secretary gates and admiral mullen, you are in a tough spot, and this is an extremely sen tisitive to the ie and inside and outside of the military are sensitive, and inside of the military, it does present other constitutional rights, because there is no right to serve in the armed
forces. today, we have had gays and lesbi lesbians to serve in the past and in the future, and they will serve in a val yabt wiant way, purpose of the armed forces is to prepare and engage in combat if the need arises. military society should be characterized by its own laws, rules, customs and traditions based on personal behavior that would not be acceptable in society. examples are adultery, alcohol use, and body art. if we change this rule of "don't ask, don't tell," what do we do with the tho in my opinion, the presence in our forces of person to demonstrate a propensity or intent to ring gauge in homosexual acts could very likely create an unacceptable risk to those high standards of
morale, good order, discipline, and effective unit cohesion and effectiveness. i am opposed to this change and i look forward to a very spirited debate on this issue. >> thank you. i believe senator burris is next. >> thank you, mr. chairman. i would like to extend my deep admiration for are two distinguished leaders and their position. not only are you following the direction of the commander-in- chief, but admiral mullen, you express your personal view, which is to be commended. we need a policy that has -- allows any individual with the integrity to serve this country to serve this country. when we go back to president truman, who took the audacity to integrate the services.
at one time, my uncle, members of my race couldn't even serve in the military. we moved to this point of where there some of the best and brightest we have. generals, and now the commander- in-chief is of african-american heritage. what we're doing here now is not looking at the integrity and commitment individuals make not based on their sexual orientations, but on the defense of this country. the policy needs to be changed, the policy must be changed, and we must have everyone who is capable, willing, and able to volunteer to defend this country, to defend this great american tradition of hours, to have the opportunity to serve regardless of their sexual orientation. based on that, we must continue to have the american spirit and have individuals who are willing to serve.
i do not have a question, mr. chairman, i just have a statement. i hope we will look at the legislation -- the house has drawn up a bill that 185 members on this house bill, house bill 1283, i hope you'll get movement on this issue and not be wasting taxpayers' time or all the energy on something that is so basic a human right, an opportunity for individuals in this country. rights and opportunities for individuals in this country. thank you, mr. chairman. >> thank you very much, senator burris. senator collins. >> thank you, mr. chairman. mr. chairman, unlike my colleagues, i do have some questions rather than just a statement to ask. admiral mullen, we know that many of our nato allies allowed
gays and lesbians to serve openly, a & of topen ly, and many of the countries have deployed troops who are serving with us in afghanistan. are you aware of any impact on combat effectiveness by the decision of our nato allies to allow gays and lesbians to serve openly? >> senator collins, i have talked to zefrlg talk t talked to several of my counterparts in countries whose militaries allow gays and lesbi lesbians to serve openly, and there has been as they have told me no impact on military effectiveness. >> we heard today the concern that if "don't ask, don't tell" is repealed that it would in fact affect unit cohesiveness or moral. are you aware of any studies,
any evidence that suggests that repealing "don't ask, don't tell" would undermine unit cohesion? >> i'm not. in fact the 1993 rand study focused heavily on unit cohesion, and that became the principle point put forward by the military leadership at the time, and i understand that. i understand what it is, and i understand what goes into it, and that there are, there has been no thorough or comprehensive work done with respect to that aspect since 1993, and that is part of what needs to be addressed as we move forward over the year. >> i would underscore that. part of what we need to do is address number of assertions that have been made for which we
have no basis in fact. >> exactly. >> we need to purpose of the review that we are undertaking is to find out what the force, what the men and women in our armed forces and as senator webb said, and their families really think about this, and the fact is that at this point, we don't really know. >> thank you. thank you, mr. chairman. >> thank you very much, senator collins. senator lieberman is next, and then assuming nobody else comes in, senator mccaskill would be next and then senator reid. senator lieberman? >> thanks, mr. chairman. i opposed the "don't ask, don't tell" policy when it was created by this committee in 1993, and i remain opposed to it today and therefore i support repealing it as soon as possible. my feelings to state it simply
then was that what mattered most was not how a member of the military lived his or her private sexual life, but that they were prepared to risk their lives in defense of our country. my judgment was that in a combat situation, a member of the military in a tank or an mrap today is going to care a lot more about the capability and courage of the soldier next to him than they are about the sexual orientation of that soldier, just as over the years as senator burris referred to, they came to care a lot less ant the race -- a lot less about the race of the soldier next to them and more about the courage of the person next to them. i am grateful that the president supports the repeal of "don't ask, don't tell." i thank you, secretary, and chairman for saying that the
question now is not whether but how, and i think that for us really when we will repeal "don't ask, don't tell." am i right that what you are telling to usday is th-- us tod that what you are going to do as soon as possible after 45 days is to determine how you can reduce the impact of the "don't ask, don't tell" policy within the current state of the law? is that correct? >> yes, sir. the numbers actually have gone down fairly substantially. they were about 600 and some in 2008 and 428 in 2009. but, and we don't know -- i mean we can't quantify what the possible changes that i have talked about here, what impact they would have on that. but at least it would if we are
able to do something like that would make these folks less vulnerable to someone seeking revenge whatever their motives in terms of trying to wreck somebody's career. >> am i correct to ask the question to get it on the record that your judgment is advised by counsel is that it requires an act of congress repealing "don't ask, don't tell" for the actual policy, itself, to be ended in the military. you can't do it by executive action? >> yes, sir, that is correct. >> i wanted to ask you -- i'm sure one of the reactions to what you have announced today is that this is a delay. i wanted to ask you to consider not only the 45-day limit, but wa y what you would think about providing reports for congress and the public on the progress of the study that you are doing
during this next year. >> i don't see any reason why we can't do that. >> i appreciate that. >> and obviously, the final is that it is up to us in the congress and the senate. we have to get 60 votes to repeal "don't ask, don't tell" or else it will remain in effect. thank you. >> unless there is a provision inside of the defense authorization bill that goes to the floor which would then require an amendment to strike it from the bill, in which case, the 60-vote rule would be turning the other way. >> no, it is good, and it is with great appreciation that i
agree with the chairman. >> that is on the record. thank you. >> i want to make sure we are crystal clear about something. are gays and lesbians current cubly serving in our military? >> yes. >> and isn't the current foundation of the policy that we welcome their service. >> that is true, yes. >> are you aware of any moral issues or disciplinary problems surrounding the current service of gay and lesbian members, americans as members of the military. >> certainly not broadly. >> now, here is my -- i think what you are embarking upon is important, and i think it is welcomed, but here is my problemch. we have established that we have gays and lesbian americans serving in the military and think are not causing disciplinary or moral problems and we welcome the service, so the issue is not whether or not gay and lesbian military
personnel are serving in the military, but it is whether or not we talk about it. so how are you going to get their input in this survey? >> actually, i mean my take on that is -- well, hang on a second. i think that we would have to look very carefully at how we would do that specifically. >> and that is the point i would like to leave you with today is that unfortunately, because of this policy, we welcome their service -- >> true. >> -- they are serving bravely and well and no issues with moral and cohesiveness, and surrounding their service, but yet, when it comes time to evaluate their service, they are not allowed to talk about it, and so you have a real challenge in getting perhaps maybe some of the most important input that you may need as you consider
this policy and i will be anxiously awaiting how you figure that one out. >> yes, ma'am. >> thank you, mr. chairman. >> one appropriate, senator s to talk to those who have been separated. >> that is terrific, and i think that the ones who have been separated is a great place that you can get good information, but i don't know that you are going to get at those who are currently serving, because obviously, they cannot step forward and talk about it, but i agree, secretary gates, that is a great place, because so many of them voluntarily separated because of issues of integrity. thank you. >> thank you, senator mccaskill. senator reid. >> thank you very much, mr. chairman. mr. secretary, i want to follow up on the point that senator collins made, because it is my understanding that canada and the united kingdom have allowed gays and lesbians to serve openly in the case of canada since the early '90s and in great britain 2000, and they are fighting side-by-side with us in
afghanistan and in fact, i would think that we would like to see more of their regimens and brigades there. does that, i think suggest as admiral mullen mentioned before that the combat effectiveness is not m pai m impair and we hav opportunity to work with them in joint operations, and does that add credibility or weight to the discussions that you are undertaking? >> well, it is clearly something that we need to address. with knee to we need to talk to those countries in the military formal and in depth way about their experience. i believe that their experience is a factor, but i also would say that each country has its own culture and its own society, and it has to be evaluated in those terms as well.
>> i think that one of the aspects that you refer to in your prepared remarks is the at least presumptive difference in terms of the attitudes at differing ranks within the military. is that something that you can comment upon now? have you done any research or admiral mullen can comment about the attitude based on age, based on other factors? >> i think that really goes to the point of what we need to do in the months ahead. i think that admiral mullen would agree that we don't know, we don't have information based on rank or anything like that. >> anecdotally, what it would be my only comment that there has not been any objective review of this, and so i think that it is
it gets to this strongly held views driving this as opposed to really understanding objectively what this policy change would mean. >> let me ask a final question which i think is implicit in your overall testimony. this is rather simplistic, but this would be the implementation of that decision. i would assume that at least in part, those would have to be coordinated or referenced, so that as part of the discussion and analysis going forward. it's not only a decision, but about how this policy will be implemented in a very detailed fashion. that would be something that would be available to congress before they made the decision
or can you comment at all about that aspect? >> let me start by saying sure. one of the things we will look at is if there is a problem with cohesion, how would you mitigated? how, through training, regulations, or other measures do you, if congress were to repeal the law, how would we implemented? part of our review process is, as we look at the different aspects of it, what are the problem areas we're going to see, and how we address those? as i said in my statement, it's everything from base housing to various policies and regulations. i said in the statement, it is everything from base housing to various policies and regulations and so on, and all of those have to be addressed. >> for me, senator, it is understanding the impact. it is then in that understanding
that speaks in great part to potential implementation and that then really goes to the core of where i am on this, which is leadership. so i mean understanding that, and they are integral to each other -- impact and implementation -- then says to me, mullen, this is how you lead this and move through it if the law changes. >> thank you, mr. chairman. >> thank you. briefly following up senator reed and senator collins' point about other militaries and senator reid's point that our military is fighting side by side and with militaries who do not have a discriminatory policy against an open service by gays, and have you noticed any impact on our troops who served with canadian and brits because of a british or canadian policy that allows gays to openly serve?
admiral? >> since these wars started in 2003, it has not been brought to my attention that there has been any significant impact of the policies in those countries on either their military effectiveness or our ability to work with them. >> all right. i have to make one comment on a suggest that somehow or another, admiral, you were simply following orders here of your commander in chief who has made a decision in your testimony this morning. i think that your testimony was not only eloquent, but it was personal and you made it very clear that you were reflecting your personal view, which you are obligated under the oath you take to give to us. we thank you for, that and i thank you not just because it happens that i agree with what you said, but more importantly because you were required to give us a personal view, and it was clear to me and clear to
most of us that this was a view that you hold in your conscience and not giving it to us because you were directed to by anybody,ings anybody, in including the commander in chief. this was a profile in leadership this morning by giving your statement, a lit take a great deal of leadership to have this change made and i hope it is, and the sooner, the better, as far as i'm concerned, but with the kind of leadership that you have shown this morning, i hope it is do-able in a short period of time. one other comment, and that has to do with what can be done in the interim. you are going the be looking at that without legislative change. secretary, it is my understanding that when service members are discharged under the don't "don't ask, don't tell" p with a dishonorable discharge, the d.o.d. policy is that they
receive half of the separation pay which is authorized by statute and you are authorized to give half or full pay. would you take a look at that as something we can do in the interim here to indicate a greater sense of fairness about this. you know, you are sitting there quietly, senator udall, do you have a final question? i thank you both. it has been a long hearing this morning and we app appreciate you and the men and women who serve with you and your families and we stand adjourned.
senator, i don't know if you were asked this first, but do you think that year-long study is too slow and not fast enough in your not doing something in the authorization this year? >> well, we can have a moratorium bill before this is resolved. there is one year and another year after that that secretary gates said might be required after the first year, if i heard that right, so i would like to hear it happen earlier, but if there were a moratorium on it, and there would be what i consider a slow pace then i would be more practical, more fair. >> i'm from canadian tv, and have you ruled out actual appeal in the d.o.d. -- >> i have not decided.
>> can you comment on american and canadian forces fighting side by side despite the "don't ask, don't tell" policy? >> well, i believe what we were told which is the canadian approach which is not to discriminate against gays and lesbians serving openly has not provided a problem for the canadian forces or problems to other coalition forces like ours who fight side by side with the canadians. that is what we heard this morning and my own belief as well. >> do you believe it is a good model for the american model? >> yes, it happens that the canadian model for us. >> do you have any plans to repeal the defense authorization bill? >> i don't know wlae wit no't k proceed with. we will have a hearing a week from thursday, with an outside panel, and we have all of the service chiefs and secretaries coming in february. i am sure they will be asked about it. there is a number of options,
including a moratorium which makes a lot of sense to em since this policy is not only under review, there is a decision made which the secretary support twis chairman of the joint chiefs personally supports to make a change in the policy, since we know there is that kind of momentum, why not have a moratorium pending the outcome? that is my strikes me at the moment. >> has president obama given -- >> is the bill the place to make that decision? >> well, it is the defense authorization act which helped to put the policy in place to begin with. >> so it is a consideration to put it in the bill if and when -- >> yeah, it is a perfect place to put in a moratorium or repeal or some other action in relation to "don't ask, don't tell." >> has president obama said what he prefers a moratorium or repeal? >> i don't know what he believes other than the speech.
>> the consideration of the family members, other than gay and lesbian part nors, is there any significance to the study? >> try me again. >> well, if you have a study like this, taking into account the service members and their families it would not then include the opinions necessarily of gay service members and the partners would it? >> well, you have to obtain the opinion of gay service members. >> how do you do that if they are not allowed to speak? >> well, that is the question that senator mccaskill raised, so you have to either look at the ones who have separated or voluntarily resign and talk to them as former service members or i would assume and everybody would have to agree, and all of my colleagues even those who favor the "don't ask, don't tell" policy would have to agree to a request by somebody to talk
to a current gay member. i mean, if that is in response to a question by somebody who is authorized to ask the question, everybody should agree that opinion should be solicited and not penalized, but she raises a significant point. it is a point which would need to be addressed in any survey that is an accurate survey. you have to be able to talk to the broad cross section of people. >> were you surprised by mullen's comments today? they seemed strong. >> i had in the previous conversation with him an indication that that was his personal belief. very strong belief in integrity, and not allowing people to be themselves, and the integrity is the nature of the army and the armed forces and people want integrity there and respect integrity and not requiring
people to pretend to be something they are not. i was not surprised by, and in general, i have come to rely on admiral mullen as somebody who will give you his personal opinion straight, and it is a very valuable -- it is not only a valuable source of information, but it is required by our constitution and by our rules when he is confirmed. we ask men and women who are confirmed before us point blank if you have been around here long enough to know, one of the 12 questions, will you tell this committee your personal opinion, regardless of whether it is in agreement with the administration in power when asked by this committee, and they say they will do that. he did that this morning. he showed some real exemplary leadership this morning. i thought that when a colleague was critical of his testimony in suggesting that this would represent undue command influence, i thought it was
really way off target. i thought that was just -- it was just i thought inconsistent with everything that ewe requir of the military. >> senator, how important is his voice in the debate do you believe as a uniform officer? >> well, his leadership is important of how this gets done. >> is the repeal of don't ask don't tell by congress out of this question for this year? >> well, what is more likely than repeal i'm guessing, but we have to await the testimony that we will have as a moratorium is, i think, probably more likely prospect, because of the study which the secretary announced today, but i don't want to preclude anything or predict anything. i don't know. i mean, people have to be heard from. >> senator, i hope that -- >> with the authorization bill, and the vehicle -- >> well, perfectly appropriate vehicle if the congress wants to act. >> and what about --
>> well, you can do it either way. it is perfectly well either way to put it in a authorization bill to change it to "don't ask, don't tell" and if my memory is right and may not be, but that is where the policy was put into place to begin with, so it is certainly appropriate to repeal it or do a moratorium or any number of thin things. >> i hope there is no delay. i just hope to serve and i hope i don't have to be fired in the time of this. >> well, we follow your career and admire it. >> bill clinton said that when he tried to implement "don't ask, don't tell" last time, the mid level officers refused to implement it as it was promised to him. colin powell told him that gays would be allowed to go to gay bars and march in gay parades as long as they did not come out on base in their professional capacity they would be
prosecuted, but bill clinton said that evangelical officers would not promote gays? would not promote gays? >> well, i won't comment on it. it is too third hand to me. i would have to see what he actually said. >> senator, one more question. >> try it again, but slower. >> tell me about the schedule of how you see that the senate armed services committee will continue? >> well we will have a hearing of outside panels a week from thursday. we will hear from the service secretaries and service chiefs during the month of february on their budgets. so, during those budget hearings, i am sure there is an opportunity for colleagues to ask them, and they will expect to be asked their position on the president's approach and what secretary gates announced here today and there is a lot of activity on the subject today. >> and the hearing a week from thursday do, you foe who are the witnesses there? >> we don't know, but we will try to get a cross section.
year 2011, followed by opprobrium about treasury secretary tim geithner. -- followed by a program about tim geithner. today on "newsmakers" on of the administration's policy priorities. also, a look at the 2010 election. tomorrow on "washington journal" a look at the toyota vehicle recall and its possible impact on automobile policy with this reporter from detroit news. also, the next guest from the national association of realtors. thirdly, and author on his book.
>> defense secretary robert gates and animadmirable mike mullen testified. this portion last one hour, 40 minutes. >> good morning. the 2010 quadrennial defense review, and the 2010 ballistic missile defense review. gentlemen, as always we are thankful to you. to your families. for your dedicated service. for the military people at home and in harm's way around the globe, and to their families.
your commitment to the welfare of our troops shine through all you do. the american people are grateful. we are grateful and eager to help whenever we can. the fiscal year 2011 budget request includes $549 billion for the base budget, $159 billion for the ongoing two wars. on top of the $708 billion request for 2011 the administration has included the 2010 supplemental request of $33 billion to fund the additional 30,000 troops. to support the policy announced last december. the budget request continues. the defense reforms begun last year to rebalance the course towards military abilities necessary to prevail in today's complex to buy weapons that are relevant and affordable and ensure that tax dollars are used
wisely. the long-anticipated 2009 quadrennial defense review was also submitted on monday with the department's 2011 budget. this is a wartime qdr. the department's analysis and decisions place the focus and priority on policies programs and initiatives. those that support the current fight in afghanistan and iraq and against al qaeda. the qdr which revised tough choices, and getting mortared else will be necessary in the future. tough choices, indicates that more trade-offs will be necessary in the future. i'll note that along with the budget request, the administration submitted the ballistic missile defense review. this review was required by the national defense authorize act for fiscal year 2009. this is the first comprehensive policy and strategy framework
for missile defense and it is long overdue. secretary gates' cover memo notes that "i have made the near term regional threats a top priority of our plans, programs, and capabilities." and that has been consistent with what congress has been urging for many years. before new missile defense programs will be deployed, they must first be tested and demonstrate they are effective and reliable. it also states that our programs must be fiscally sustainable over the long-term. and it emphasizes international cooperation with our allies and partners and cooperation with russia. those are elements of a sound missile defense policy. consistent with the reform goals set out by secretary gates and the results of the defense review, a top priority for the department must be the the
ongoing conflicts of iraq. we have to ensure their o commanders have what they need to succeed in those conflicts, including technologies to counter improvised explosive devices and alter all terrain vehicles. and this committee will continue to support the needs of our men and women who are in those conflicts. excuse me. i have long argued that the principal mission in afghanistan should be training the afghan security forces so they can take responsibility for the security of their country. but we heard during our visit -- our recent visit to afghanistan was that president obama's speech at west point in december had a tangible positive effect on afghan security forces. lieutenant general bill caldwell, the head of nato training mission in afghanistan told us that president obama's
setting of the july 2011 date for the beginning of u.s. troop reductions energized afghanistan's leadership made clear to them that president obama means business when he says our commitment is not open-ended. and got them to focus on planning for the shift in responsibility for afghan security that is highlighted by that 2011 july date. and even more than a pay raise, general caldwell told us that the july 2011 date increased recruiting of afghan soldiers. and this is caldwell speaking. afghan leaders called for and reached out for local leaders to produce new recruits across the country. the number of afghan recruits in training has jumped from 3,000 in november to over 11,000 last month. key to success of the mission of strengthening the afghan army
will be the partnering of coalition and afghan units together on a union unit to one unit basis. and for afghans to take the lead in operations. the budget the president sent over yesterday includes significant resources for the training and partnering missions, including increased funding for the afghan security forces fund in both the 2010 supplemental and the 2011 request. the fully integrated partnering of coalition and afghan units living together and integrating their lives daily is at the heart of our troop's mission. david rodriguez, the commander of the isaf in afghanistan has promised to get us data indicated on a chart i have up behind me in a chart which is circulated on the number of afghan units with coalition forces and how many of those afghan units are in the lead in operations. this effort is key to the transition to an afghan lead in providing for the nation's security.
and we will track this data very closely. while i'm pleased with the increased partnering in the field. we were disappointed with the shortfall in trainers with the initial training needed for the afghan army and police. caldwell told us he only had 37% of the required u.s. and nato trainers on hand. and nato countries were about 90% short of meeting their commitment to provide about 2,000 non-u.s. trainers. that's simply inexcusable and our nato allies must do more to close the gap in trainers. an area personnel, i'm pleased this requires increased funding for personnel and for the defense health program. the budget request includes funding to support the care and treatment of wounded warriors including $ 1.1 billion for the treatment, care, and research of traumatic brain injuries, tbi,
and psychological health. the budget would also increase funding for family support programs by $500 million over last year's levels and include the funding necessary to support the temporary increase of the army's active duty to 569,000, which will help improve dwell time and reduce stress on the force. the catastrophic january 12th earthquake that struck the nation of haiti reminded all of us just how indiscriminate natural disasters can be. the department has -- the department of defense has mobilized resources and manpower to aid in the relief effort in support of the department of state and u.s. agency for international development. just last week, the committee approved a $400 million reprogramming to ensure the department was adequately resourced for that important support mission. we are prepared to continue to work with the secretary and
admiral mullen to ensure the department of defense is able to continue to provide support to this critical humanitarian disaster response effort in the weeks and months ahead. and we all greatly appreciate the skill shown by u.s. service personnel in response to the haiti disaster. now, following this hearing is previously announced that around noon we're going to turn to the issue of don't ask, don't tell. i would appreciate questions on that subject being asked after secreta secretary gates' statement on that subject at that time. secretary gates, admiral mullen, we look forward to your testimony. and now i turn to senator mccain for any opening remarks he may have. >> thank you very much, mr. chairman, and i join you in welcoming the witnesses to discuss the president's budget request for fiscal year 2011 and the 2010 defense review and the impact on future reviews for the department of defense.
secretary gates, i greatly appreciate that you continue to place the highest priority of the department on supporting the men and women of the armed forces. i'm consistently amazed and heartened by the commitment and dedication of the brave men and women who choose to answer the call to defend the nation. we all know they endure long, hard work under very demanding conditions and in some cases making the ultimate sacrifice. they in turn ask their families to endure unwelcome separations and the murder of managing the home front. our country's volunteer force and their families are a national asset. and they deserve our steadfast united support. informed by the 2010 defense review, your request of $549 billion builds upon the substantial changes you outlined in last year's budget by establishing strategic
priorities and identifying where the department needs to spend scarce resources. secretary gates, last year i supported your review that winning the wars of today while deterring and preparing for the conflicts of tomorrow required a balancing of risk. i looked forward to your@@@@@@@ and 2010 supplemental request of $33 billion supports men and women in iraq and afghanistan. i fully support your efforts to use oco in supplemental funding to address many operational shortfalls in afghanistan. to increase funding for intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance assets, electronic warfare capabilities, and increasing the end strength of special operations forces. your request includes
significant funding for building the afghan security forces. i remain very concerned that we're not on pace to achieve strength ofçóñi 400,000 by 2013s recommended by general stanley mcchrystal. i'm eager to hear when leading the funding request will enable to allow us to achieve that goal. on the issue of a 2011 withdrawal, speaking to the president of pakistan to the tribal leader in canada or who fought against russians, there is great uncertainty out there -- to the tribal leader in a kandahar. there because of the president's statement. there's great uncertainty whether we're going to stay. and it was raised to me by every leader that i met with. including the province, the tribal chief who had fought against the russians, who looked at me and said, are you going to
stay, or are you going to leave like you did last time? our allies need to be -- and friends in the region -- need to be reassured that 2011 is not a date for withdrawal. and although your words and that out of the secretary of state have been excellent, the president has not made that statement in a way that would be reassuring to our allies as well as to our enemies. because we ask our men and women in uniform and their families to sacrifice so much, both the congress and the administration must be ready to make some tough funding decisions. something we failed miserably at in previous years. despite numerous calls last year for earmark reform, the fiscal year 2010 defense appropriations bill signed into law, a bill that contained over $4 billion in earmarks, and $3 billion in unrequested and unwanted funding for c-17s and the alternative
engine for the joint strike fighter. that's $7 billion that the department had to eat in programs that it didn't request or need. this business as usual spending that we've come to accept is unnecessary, wasteful, and it diverts precious funding from other more pressing military priorities. secretary gates, i was encouraged in your rollout of the budget yesterday that you laid an early marker with congress by indicating that if we added funds to continue the c-17 and alternate engine for the joint strike fighter in 2011, you would recommend that the president veto the bill. i strongly support such a recommendation, but feel it may fall on deaf ears unless that comes early, consistently, and directly from the president. we cannot continue to condone spending billions of dollars on programs that the department doesn't want or need. and if the president is really serious, he's really serious about not wasting billions of dollars more of the taxpayers'
money, he should also say that he will veto any appropriations bill that comes across his desk with earmarks and pork barrel spending on it. it's got to stop. on the f-35 joint strike fighter program, i appreciate the management decisions you announced yesterday. to replace the program executive officer and withhold more than $600 million where accountability required that those changes be made. as you appropriately stated yesterday during your press conference, "when things go wrong, people will be held accountable." i'd like to see that happen in some other areas of government. i'm nonetheless concerned about your comment that it was clear there were more problems of the f-35 than you were aware of when you visited the ft. worth plant last august. with your recently announced management decisions, i hope the process by which you get reliable up to date information
about important aspects of the program when you need it has improved. however, i'm still concerned about whether the services would get sufficiently capable joint strike fighters when they need them. just a few weeks ago, the director of operational tests and evaluation found that continued production concurrent with the slow increase in flight testing over the next two years will commit the department and services to test, training, and deployment plans with substantial risk. and that very recently determined that the marine corps and the navy's version of the joint strike fighter may end up being too expensive to operate. with each flight hour flown costing about $31,000 compared with around $19,000 for a flight hour for the services current, f-18 hornets. i'd appreciate if you could comment on these and potentially other issues you see facing this program. thank you, mr. chairman. >> thank you, senator mccain.
and i will put the balance of my statement in the record -- and there's part i don't have your statement, that will be made part of the record if you wish. secretary gates, we welcome you. admiral mullen, please proceed. >> mr. chairman, members of the committee, thank you for the opportunity to appear before you to request the budget request for fiscal year 2011. i first want to thank you for your support of the men and women of the united states military these many years. these troops are part of an extraordinary generation of americans who have answered their country's call. they have fought our wars, protected our interests and allies around the globe, and as we have seen recently in haiti, they have also demonstrated compassion and decency in the face of incomprehensible loss. i have a brief opening statement to provide an overview of the budget request. my submitted statement includes many more details that i know are of interest to the
committee. >> mr. secretary, i'm going to interrupt you at this time and do something which i know you'd love us to do which is to approve a number of nominations. we have a quorum here. there is a quorum present, so i'll ask the committee now to consider five civilian nominations and 1,802 pending military nominations first douglas wilson for public affairs, malcolm ross o'neill for acquisition, lo kwgistics a technology, the financial management and controller, paul to be general counsel to the department of navy, and jacqueline steele for installations and environment. is there a motion to promote these nominations? all in favor say aye. they've been before the
committee that require a length of time. is there a motion? >> so moved. >> second, all in favor say aye. >> aye. >> oppose e ed nee, the motion carries forward. >> the budget request being presented today includes $589 billion, a 3.4 increase over last year, or 1.8% real increase after adjusting for inflation. reflecting the administration's commitment to modest, steady, and sustainable real growth in defense spending. we're also requesting $159 billion in fy 2011 to support overseas contingency operations, plus $33 billion for the remainder of this fiscal year to support the added financial costs of the president's new approach in afghanistan. the base budget request reflects these major institutional priorities. first reaffirming and
strengthening the nation's commitment to the all volunteer force. second, rebalancing america's defense posture by emphasizing capabilities needed to prevail in current conflicts while enhancing capabilities that may be needed in the future. and third, continuing the department's commitment to reform how d.o.d. does business, especially in the area of acquisitions. finally, the commitments made in the programs funded in the supplemental requests demonstrate the administration's determination to support our troops and commanders in combat so they can accomplish their critical missions and come home safely. the budget continues the department's policy of shifting money to the base budget for enduring programs that directly support war fighters and their families. whether on the battlefield, recovering from wounds, or on the home front. to ensure that they have steady, long-term funding and institutional support. the base budget request was accompanied and informed by the
2010 defense review, which establishes strategic priorities and identifies key areas for needed investment. the 2010 qdr and fy 2011 budget build upon the substantial chances that the president made in the fy 2010 budget request to allocate defense dollars more wisely and reform the department's processes. the fy 10 budget proposals cut, curtailed, or ended a number of programs that were either performing poorly or in excess of real world needs. conversely, future oriented programs for the u.s. was relatively underinvested were accelerated, or received more funding. qdr the first is continued reform, fundamentally changing the way this department does business. priorities we set, the programs we fund, the weapons we buy and
how we buy them. building on the reforms of last year's budget, the fy '11 request took additional steps aimed at programs that were excess or performing poorly. they include terminating the navy epx intelligence aircraft, ending the third generation infrared surveillance program, canceling the next generation cgx cruiser, terminating the net enabled control program, ending the defense and integrated military human resources system due to cost overruns and performance concerns. completing the c-17 program and closing the production line. as multiple studies in recent years show the air force already has more of these aircraft than it needs. and ending the alternate engine for the f-35 joint strike fighter has whatever benefits might accrue are more than offset by excess costs, complexity, and associated risks. i am fully aware of the
political pressure to continue building the c-17 and proceed with an alternate engine for the f-35. so let me be very clear. i will strongly recommend that the president veto any legislation that sustains the unnecessary continuation of these two programs. the budget and reviews are also shaped by a bracing dose of realism. realism with regard to risk, realism with regard to resources. we have in a sober and clear-eyed way assessed risk, set priorities, made trade-offs, and identified requirements based on plausible real world threats, scenarios, and potential adversaries. just one example. for years u.s. defense planning and requirements were based on preparing to fight two major conventional wars at the same time. a construct that persisted long after taking over events. the department's leadership now recognizes we must prepare for a much broader range for security challenges on the horizon. they range from the use of
sophisticated new technologies to deny our forces access to the global commons of sea, air, space, and cyber space to the threat posed by non-state groups delivering more cunning and destructive means to attack and terrorize. scenarios that transcend the familiar contingencies that dominated u.s. planning after the cold war. we have learned through painful experience that the wars we fight are seldom the wars that we planned. as a result, the united states needs a broad portfolio of military capabilities with maximum versatility across the widest possible spectrum of conflict. this strategic reality shaped the qdr's analysis and subsequent conclusions which directly informed the program decisions contained in the budget. before closing, i would like to offer two thoughts to consider when assessing the u.s. investment in national defense. first, the request submitted this week totalled more than $700 billion.
a massive number to be sure. but at 4.7% gross national product, it represents a significantly smaller portion of national wealth going to defense and was spent during most of america's previous major second, as you know the president recently exempted the budget from finding its -- from spending freezes apply to other parts of the government. this department undertook a painstaking review of our priorities last year. as a result, cut or curtailed the number of major programs. these programs had they been pursued to completion would have cost the american taxpayer about $330 billion. in closing, mr. chairman, thanks to you and members of this committee to all you have done to support our troops and families. in light of unprecedented demands placed on them. i believe choices made and
priorities set in these requests reflect america's commitment to see that our forces have tools they need to prevail in these wars by making the necessary investments necessary to prepare for threats on or beyond the horizon. thank you. >> thank you, secretary. admiral mike mullen? >> thanks for the chance to appear before you and discuss the state of the military and fiscal year 2011 submission. i want to thank you all for the extraordinary support you provide every day to men and women in uniform, as well as their families. they are well-equipped, well- trained, and enjoy the finest medical care anywhere in the world in no small part due to your stewardship and dedicationi and have seen many of you in the the war zone in hospitals and at bases all over this country. so have our troops.
they know you care just as critically, they know their fellow citizens care. all i want right now is guidance on the mission before them and the tools to accomplish it. that's why i'm here today to speak on their behalf about the guidance they are getting from this department and to secure your continued support for the tools we want to give them. secretary gates has already walked you through the major components of the defense review and the president's fiscal year '11 defense spending mission. both of them when combined with the defense review and our contingency operation fund request builds upon the reform effort of last year and represent as comprehensive a look at the state of our military as i've seen in my experience. i will not endeavor to repeat his excellent summation and i will ask you to accept without further comment my endorsement of the findings contained in each of these documents. let me leave you, rather, with
three overarching things to consider as you prepare to discuss these issues today. and as you prepare this budget request in the future. first, there's a real sense of urgency here. we have well over 200,000 troops in harm's way right now and included in operations iraqi freedom and enduring freedom. others are elsewhere around the globe, and many of those missions are no less dangerous, certainly no less significant. i'm sure you've stayed abreast of our relief efforts where more than 20,000 of your soldiers, airmen, and coast guardsmen are pitching in to help alleviate the suffering of the haitian people. it is an international mission. and these troops are blending in beautifully, doing what is required where and when it is required to support the government of haiti, usaid and
the you know mission there. we also continue to do what is required to win the wars we fight. and the one that needs fighting the most right now is in afghanistan. you've seen the reports and you know the situation. the taliban have a growing influence in most of afghanistan's provinces. and the border area between that country and pakistan remains the epicenter of global terrorism. you no doubt filed with great interest the development of the strategy to deal with this strategy. the strategy in my view that makes the afghan people a center of gravity and the defeat of al qaeda a primary goal. we've already moved 4,500 troops to afghanistan and expect about 18,000 of the president's december 1st commitment will be there by late spring. the remainder of the 30,000 will arrive as rapidly as possible over the summer and early fall. making a major contribution to reversing the taliban momentum in 2010. indeed, by the middle of this year, afghanistan will surpass iraq for the first time since
2003 as a location with the most deployed american forces. right now the taliban believe they're winning. 18 months from now, if we've executed our strategy, we'll know they aren't. and they'll know that they can't. getting there will demand discipline and hard work. it'll require ever more cooperation with pakistan. and it will most assuredly demand more sacrifice and more bloodshed. but the stakes are far too high for failure. that's why we're asking you to fully fund our fiscal year '10 supplemental and the fiscal year '11 overseas contingency operations request. it's why we wanted 6% increase for special operations command. and it's why we need your support to develop and field the next generation round combat vehicle to allow us to grow two more aviation brigades and continue production, including nearly $3 billion for the v-22
program. in keeping with the secretary's strong emphasis on isr and emphasis more than justified by our long experience in iraq and afghanistan, we are asking for more capability and unmanned aircraft and ground base collection system, including nearly $3 billion to double the procurement rate of the mq9 reaper. our future security is greatly imperilled if we do not win the wars we are in. as the qdr makes clear, the outcome of today's conflicts will shape the global security environment for decades to come. i'm very comfortable that we can and will finish well in iraq, remaining on pace, to draw down american forces to roughly 50,000, ending our combat mission there and transitioning to an advise and assist role. without your continued support, we will not able to show the meaningful progress in afghanistan the commander in chief has orders, the american people expect and the afghan
people need. this is no mission of mercy. this is a place from which we were attacked in 2001. the place from which al qaeda still plots and plans. the security of a great nation, ours and theirs rests not on the sentiment and good intention, but what ought to be a cold and unfeeling appraisal of self-interest and an equally cold and unfeeling pursuit of the tools to protect that interest, ours and theirs. that leads me to the second thing i'd like to consider, proper balance. winning our current wars means investment in our war fair expertise. a core competency that should be supported in recent years. but we should also maintain conventional advantages. we still face traditional threats from regional powers that possess robust, regular, and in some cases nuclear capabilities. these cannot be ignored.
the freedom to conduct operations in support of joint, allied, and coalition efforts, ensuring access and projecting combat power can only be preserved through enduring war-fighting competencies. this means capable of ensuring air superiority, at sea, meaning having enough ships and sailors to stay engaged globally and keep the sea lanes open. on the ground, means accelerating the monitorization of our combat brigades and regimens. never having to fight a fair fight. thus the president's budget, the request will buy us another 42 f-35s. it'll fund development of a prompt global strike system as well as efforts to upgrade our b-2s and b-52s. the spending plan, some plan totals some $16 billion for securing 10 new ships in 2011,
including two destroyers, two virginia class submarines, two little combat ships and a brand new amphibious assault ship. it puts the navy on track to maintain. our budget request also seeks $10 billion for ballistic missile defense programs, including 8.4 billion for the missile defense agency, and it develops ample resources for improving our cyber defense capabilities. again, it's about balance -- about deterring and winning the big and small wars, the conventional and the unconventional. two challenges, one military. where the balance is probably most needed is in the programs and policies concerning our most important resource, our people. and that's my final point. this qdr and this budget builds upon superb support. you in this department have provided our troops and their families for much of the last eight years.
stretched and strained by nearly constant combat, many of them on their fifth, sixth, and seventh deployments. our men and women are without question and almost inexplicably the most resilient and battle ready force. so attractive our career opportunities. on the other hand, we keep seeing an alarming rise in suicides, marital problems, prescription drug addictions, and mental health problems. deborah and i meet regularly with young troops and their spouses. and though proud of the difference they know they are making, they are tired. many of them are worried about their future, their children. and so you will see in this budget nearly $9 billion for family support and advocacy programs, you will see child care and youth programs increase by $87 million over last year, and including counseling to the tune of $37 million. military spouse unemployment
will get $1 million plus, and increase the budget to $2.2 billion for wounded, ill, and injured members. the health care funding level for fiscal year '11 is projected to provide high-quality care for 9.5 million eligible beneficiaries. lastly, we are pushing to dramatically increase the number of mental health professionals on staff and advance our research and traumatic brain injuries and post traumatic stress. we know the strain of frequent deployments causes many problems, but we won't yet fully understand how we -- we don't yet fully understand how or to what extent. even as we work hard to increase dwell time, aided in part by what was approved last year for the army, we will work equally as hard to decrease the stress of modern military service. indeed, i believe over time when these wars are behind us, we will need to look closely at the competing fiscal pressures that will dominate discussions of
proper strength. the long-term challenges and not married to any construct will be vital to our national security. mr. chairman, members of the committee, thank you again for your time for the long standing support of this committee to the men and women of the united states armed forces. they and their families are the best i have ever seen. on their behalf, i stand ready to answer your question. >> thank you so much, admiral. we'll try a five-minute first round here. secretary, the change in our afghanistan policy is what drove the requirement. apparently for a supplemental funding request this year. is it your goal to avoid a supplemental funding request for fy 2011? >> yes, sir, it is. our hope would be that the overseas contingency operations
approach is a preferred way to do this. as we saw this time, unforeseen circumstances brought us up here to defend another supplemental. i think i'm on the record last year as expressing the hope we wouldn't be doing another one of those. but here i am. but it is our intent that for fy '11 the oco fund would be sufficient. >> secretary, the president, you, admiral, and others have pointed out that a principal mission for our forces in afghanistan is the training up of the afghanistan security forces to take over responsibility for the security of their country. and yet, our nato allies are 90% short of meeting their commitment for trainers for the afghan troops. these are the ones who are in that early basic training
eight-week period, not out in the field where i think we're doing very well. and we are meeting what the goals are in terms of kind of on the job training, partnering with the unit. but back to that basic training. nato non-u.s. countries committed 2,000 trainers. they've produced 200. now, what are we going to do to get general caldwell those additional trainers which are so essential? >> my understanding is that general caldwell's short about 1,700 trainers. our hope is that with the additional commitments of somewhere between 7,000 and 10,000 additional forces by our nato and other partners that out of that number we can more than
fill the requirement for trainers. certainly admiral stavitas and general petraeus and mcchrystal have been talking to them about this. but admiral mullen just met with the heads of the militaries last week, i might ask him for a comment. >> if you could just briefly say, are you confident that that need is going to be filled? it's just totally unacceptable that commitment is made. it's so essential and then not kept. >> we all agree it's unacceptable, it's the top priority there and a top priority from this meeting with some 20 plus to go back to their capitals and meet. and there's a conference later this month to focus specifically on that. >> all right. and the chod. what does that mean? >> the chiefs of defense for these countries. >> thank you. secretary gates, the missile defense review report says in contrast to the practice over
the last decade of fielding missile defense capabilities that were still being developed at the administration "will take a different approach" best described as fly before you which will result in a posture base on proven technology in order to improve reliability, >> we have the deployed ground- based interceptors in fort greely. we have an aggressive test program that has been successful. we believe those interceptors give us the capability to deal with launches from either iran or north korea, small-scale threats. the fact is we are continuing, and in addition to robustly funding increases in theater- level missile defense, we will
also continue to spend -- $1.35 billion is in this budget to continue the development and test program for the ground- based interceptors. both the three stage not deployed in the two-stage we were going to deploy in poland. , and the two-stage that we were going to deploy in poland. and so i think we both for homeland security and for our alloys and our troops in the field, we have very strong programs going forward. >> thank you, senator mccain. >> secretary gates, do you believe that the christmas bomber should be tried in civilian court or by military commission? >> senator, i would defer to the attorney general on the proper jurisdiction for such people. when you fill out your form when we confirm you for the united states senate, you sign that you would give your honest and candid opinion in response to questions.
you want to give me an opinion? >> my honest opinion is that i think that the attorney general is in the best position to judge where these people get tried. after all, we have -- >> thank you very much. it was reported in the media that -- and i quote, "when president obama convened his national security team on january 5th to discuss christmas incident, the decision to charge the suspect in federal court was specifically discussed. and again." nobody present raised objection. and secretary gates made the point that even if abdulmutallab had been transferred to military custody, it's unlikely anymore information could have been gleamed from him since "enhanced interrogation techniques" have been banned by the administration. is this reported of your view? >> what i actually said was i believed that a team of highly experienced fbi and other
interrogators could be as effective in interrogating the prisoner as anyone operating under the military field manual. >> so the -- that's a direct contradiction to the piece in "newsweek" magazine. and so you agree with the director of national intelligence blair when he said "we did not invoke the hig, that's the trained interrogators in this case we should've. do you agree with admiral blair? >> i think that -- i think we did not have the high level interrogators there that we now have protocols in place to ensure would be -- would be present in such a situation. >> do you agree that they should have been there? >> yes, sir. >> and do you believe it was possible in 50 minutes to exhaust the possibilities for getting -- and getting all of the information that was needed
from the christmas bomber? >> i'm just not in a position to know the answer to that, senator. >> i see. again, media reports state that you thought so. it is your view that absence ab enhanced interrogation techniques that the intelligence community provides no value in the interrogation of a terrorist? >> no, i don't believe that. >> well, i thank you. on the issue of the f-35, to what do you attribute the fact that you were not appraised of all the major problems associated with the program last summer when it seems to me you needed to be? >> we had not yet undertaken at that time, senator mccain, an independent cost analysis that
is now one of the requirements under the acquisition and reform that can't you all passed last year. our under secretary for acquisition launched such an exercise. he himself spent about two weeks full time looking into the f-35 program, and as a result of the independent cost estimate and his own investigation, came to the conclusions that the program required restructuring. >> and can you give us either verbally or in writing the delays and cost overruns that we now expect? >> yes, sir. i would say that in terms of -- of delivery, even with the restructure program, we still expect the training squadron to be at eglin in 2011 and we
expect ioc for the marine corps in 2012. for the air force in 2013 and the navy in 2014. the fourth quarter of 2014. there will be fewer delivered aircraft at ioc. that's the purpose of reducing, that's the result of reducing the production ramp as has been recommended to deal with some of the issues associated with that. >> well, in conclusion, given your responsibilities to the men and women serving in the military and the defense of this nation i hope will you come to a conclusion as to how enemy combatants should be treated as far as their trials are concerned and our ability to ensure the american people, assure the american people, that they will not be returning to the battlefield and whether they should be tried and incarcerated in the united states rather than guantanamo. we look forward to your views on
that, because i view that clearly in your area of responsibility. not the attorney general, who is obviously botched this one very, very badly. thank you, mr. chairman. >> thank you, senator mccain. senator akaka? >> thank you very much, mr. chairman. i want to add my welcome to secretary gates and admiral mullen to the committee and for peeg here to discuss the 2011 defense budget, and to thank you for your service and service of all the men and women in our armed forces. and also welcome mr. haile. secretary gates, you have mentioned that beyond winning the wars themselves, the treatment of our wounded and ill are your highest priority. as a result of today's
continuing conflicts, the psychological effects of those conflicts with the ranks of the u.s. military have never been more profound. secretary gates, what do we need to improve our treatment of mental illness, and how does this budget address that? >> as admiral mullen mentioned in his opening statement, there is over $1 billion in this budget for the treatment of pts and traumatic brain injury. all of the services have very extensive programs for dealing with psychological problems. all of the leadership, i think, have weighed in on this very heavily. i would say that there are two problems that we still are wrestling with. one is the shortage of mental
health care providers. we are, and frankly, we've discovered it's a national shortage. it's not just the shortage in the military, because we're, all over the country, trying to hire these people, and we've hired a lot. i think something on the order of 1,000 or 1,400 over the last 18 months or so, but we still need more, and the second is still overcoming the stigma of seeking help, of getting our soldiers, but i would say both our men and women in uniform and their families to seek the psychological help that is available to them, but let me ask admiral mullen if he'd like to add a word. >> i think the secretary's captured the two big issues we dramatically increase the mental health providers in recent years but are still short. we're just beginning to understand the real impacts of tpi and then at the other piece i think that, and i would ask
for your help on this is how do we work with other committees here, secretary gates, secretary shinseki have certainly set the standard shoulder-to-shoulder that both defense and va need to work this together, because many of these people transition certainly from the defense department to va, and i really believe it's got to be a three-part team including communities throughout the country. how do we ensure those who sacrifice so much receive the care across this entire continuum, and we understand their need, which changes over time and it's those who suffered greatly in uniform but also family whose also have been under great stress as well. so that would be the third piece that i would add to the secretary's answer. >> ieds remain the number one cause of casualties in afghanistan, mr. secretary. the administration recently announced the deployment of
30,000 additional u.s. troops to afghanistan. as a result, more of our men and women will be exposed and vulnerable to this deadly form of attack. the joint ied defeat organization was created to lead and coordinate duty actions that support combatant commanders efforts to defeat ieds as weapons of strategic influence. mr. secretary, what is your assessment of the department's efforts in protecting our troops against ieds and if improvement is needed, what can be done to improve those results? >> senator, i think that we have a number of very forward leaning efforts to try and deal with the challenge of ieds.
my concern a few months ago was that these efforts were not adequately integrated, and -- and put together in a way that we derive maximum benefit from the efforts that we had under way. i asked the under secretary of defense for acquisition technology and logistics as well as general j. paxton to co-chair a short-term effort to see what more we could do, both in terms of better structure for how we deal with this problem, but also if there were some specific areas where additional attention was needed. they've brought to the me some recommendations in terms of significant enhancements for long-term, full motion video so we can watch roads, we can watch the areas around our encampments.
aerostats of a variety of other technical solutions. the commanders have increased the requirement for the mine resistant ambush protective vehicles, particularly the all-terrain vehicles so there is an additional requirement that actually has already funded or is taken care of in this budget for about 10,000 more m-wraps. 6,400s all-terrain version designed especially for afghanistan to protect our troops. so we have a number of efforts. there were identified problems, such as the labs. we had a lot of labs working the ied problem in iraq. we hadn't put as many labs into afghanistan yet. so this is a dynamic process, and i would say to you we have a number of initiatives under way to tim prove the strong work that was already being done, because this absolutely the worst killer and maimer of our
troops, and we are, with your support, sparing no expense and no effort to try and reduce those casualties. the m-wraps have made a huge difference, but the enemy is -- is a thinking enemy, and they change their tactics and their structures. another thing we're doing is a very high percentage in afghanistan of these ieds are made from fertilizer ammonium nitrite, which is illegal in afghanistan. now we're establishing an effort to try and hit the smuggling networks that bring this ammonium nitrate into be used for these ieds, but we have a lot of different efforts going on, and if t >> thank you. senator? >> thank you.